oh, the pages we have traveled

so, for awhile there i thought all would be lost. there was this instance of an itty bitty hurricane scare where i live. i packed up the entire interior of my dollhouse, paperwork, various collections that are irreplaceable; and before i could pack my clothes, shoes, and meds, it all blew away (the hurricane that is, it went further east and north of us). we had one night of light drizzle and a sunny day to wake up to.
well, in preparation for the hurricane i went to the local library. if the electricity went out (which it would have) i wanted to be very prepared with no-batteries-required entertainment. as my at times unreliable, and unstable, good luck would have it, i came across three interesting books. they were completely different in taste from each other; one a novel of a beijing girl finding her place in life, one a continuation of a series i had thought to be over, and one that is a southern woman's comedic take on renovations.
when i arrived home that day, there was a fourth book waiting for me; one i had pre-ordered quite some time ago, a lovely fantasy novel that i instantly had to buy-excerpt unread. so that made four worlds i would be glimpsing into, and out of my tumultuous own.
over the span of several days they each were read. we'll start with the first.

in "belle weather: mostly sunny with a chance of scattered hissy fits" written by celia rivenbark, the author (a southern women) recalls her life during the renovation of an ancient antebellum house. the author has a witty, sarcastic, and thankfully intelligent voice throughout the book. needless to say i was very entertained and this book would have done well to distract me from the weather.

after the comedy, i needed a literary downer, so i choose the novel "twenty fragments of a ravenous youth: a novel" by xiaolu guo. and before you start thinking "downer ?" i mean a story that requires one to think outside of one's comfort zone. i like a lot of movies that come out of china, but this would be my first excursion into the modern day literature of china. i also am angered by the environmental destruction and unthinkable repetition of the negative aspects of the western world that china is currently engulfed in. so, i had to put these thoughts aside and try to see the world of china from a voice that comes from within their walls. it was easier to read through than i had assumed; actually very interesting and in many ways familiar. one can relate to the journey the young woman takes, of trying to find a place within oneself that fits into the world around you.

the third book was one i did not expect to see. it was the seventh book in a series that i have been reading for years, the "undead, vampire queen betsy" books by maryjanice davidson. this one is titled "undead and unworthy" and is a darker, but not any less sarcastic and biting, continuation of the story of a very unlikely vampire queen. this series is definitely a very good read. as to why i did not expect to see it? i had erroneously assumed that the author was done with betsy after the sixth book.

all i can write about patricia mckillip's "the bell at sealey head" is that to immerse oneself in her writing is like dreaming while retaining consciousness. she is one author who makes me very thankful that we speak the same tongue, for i do not know what would be lost in translation.